With journalists in Pakistan continuing to face threats and violence from a host of quarters, the government should partner with media organisations to encourage and institutionalise life and health insurances for journalists.
This was recommended by a field study and a documentary, ‘Surviving the Story’, which was launched at the National Press Club (NPC) on Monday. The report and the documentary were jointly produced by Communications Research Strategies (CRS) and JournalismPakistan.com.
Workers’ safety to be ensured in the province
‘Surviving the Story’ highlights the plight of Pakistani journalists and their families in the wake of serious financial, security and professional challenges they face. The report has primarily focused on K-P since it saw the most journalist fatalities or threats to journalists, forcing them or their families to leave their area.
The documentary focused on the families of five journalists who had been killed by miscreants — and received little to no compensation — and five journalists who were forced to relocate after being threatened by militants.
The documentary urged all stakeholders, including professional journalists, press clubs, unions, the government, media owners, activists and international bodies to come together for streamlining media practices in the country and addressing the pressing issue of financial security of journalists.
Journalist Panel Chairman and former NPC president Farooq Faisal pointed out that journalists had not forgotten their slain colleagues.
“It is painful when a journalist becomes the story,” said Aniq Zafar, the chief executive officer of CRS.
Occupational health and safety bill
“It is even more painful to see that no one cares.”
Zafar said some progress has been made by training journalists on physical safety but lamented that the economic aspect remains ignored.
“There is no mechanism for disbursing funds available with the relevant departments and organisations when it comes to the families of those journalists who had lost their lives in pursuit of reporting the truth,” Zafar said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2018.
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Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1603825/1-govt-media-houses-must-improve-journalists-working-conditions/